Methanol (CH3OH), also known as methyl alcohol, is a poisonous liquid primarily manufactured through oxidization of methane. It is also synthesized from carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Methanol is a volatile, colorless, toxic, and flammable liquid. It is generally used as antifreeze solution and fuel. It is also employed in the manufacture of other products such as MTO/MTP. Biomethanol is a form of methanol that is manufactured from biomass or other biodegradable waste products. It is known as the second generation biofuel. Biomethanol is chemically similar to methanol, as it a type of methanol that is manufactured from biogas. Biomethanol has properties and functionalities similar to that of methanol and is used as a fuel as well as a feedstock to produce other biofuels. Demand for methanol is high in the market. Large number of companies operate in the methanol business. They manufacture methanol for various purposes. New production plants and technologies are being established for the manufacture of methanol. Methanol is used in the production of formaldehyde, DME, acetic acid, MTBE, and others. However, its toxic nature and high usage of fuels for manufacturing methanol have led to development of a substitute. Biomethanol is one of the substitutes for methanol.
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Based upon end-user, the biomethanol market can be segmented into construction, automotive, electronics, solvents and others. Demand for biomethanol is high, as it is a biofuel. The usage of biomethanol as a fuel is likely to lower pollution in the environment and reduce pressure over other fuels such as natural gas and coal. Biomethanol as a product is primarily used in automotive and construction segments. Automotive and construction industries in Asia Pacific have been expanding due to the growth in economy and rise in population in countries such as India and China. Formaldehyde, which is one of the major derivatives of biomethanol, is employed in the manufacture of home construction materials for the construction industry. Biomethanol is also widely used in the automobile industry as coolant and fuel for internal combustion in engines. These varied applications of biomethanol and growth in automotive and construction industries in Asia Pacific are expected to drive the biomethanol market. Demand for biomethanol as fuel is rising due to the enactment of various regulations by governments due to environmental concerns. Akin to methanol, biomethanol is used for manufacturing various other products such as DME, MTBE, acetic acid, and formaldehyde.
In terms of region, Asia Pacific held major share of biomethanol market, followed by North America and Europe, in 2016. Asia Pacific is expected to be an attractive region of the biomethanol market in the near future due to the rise in population. Countries such as China and India are increasingly shifting toward biobased products. North America consists of developed countries and mature markets. The market in the region is likely to expand at a moderate pace in the near future. Middle East & Africa and Latin America held the least share of the market in 2016. Demand for biomethanol in these regions is anticipated to rise at a steady pace during the forecast period.
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Key manufacturers operating in the biomethanol market include Mitsubishi Chemicals, Clariant AG, and Henan Tianguan Group Co. Ltd., BASF SE, DuPont, Bioamber Inc., Shandong Longlive Bio-Technology Co., Ltd and others.